Daily news summary
Zeman set to visit China again in autumn
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, is expected to make another visit to China next autumn, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. Mr. Zeman should attend an international trade fair focused on imports into the world’s most populous state. The Czech head of state has visited Beijing in the past and also hosted the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, in Prague.
President Zeman advocates closer economic ties with China and said in 2014 that he wished to learn how the country had “stabilised” its society. Critics accuse him of ignoring the Communist state’s human rights violations.
Economic growth slows but still strong at 4.5 percent in first quarter
The Czech economy continued to grow strongly in the first quarter of this year, albeit at a slower rate than previously. Gross domestic product expanded by 4.5 percent year-on-year between the start of January and the end of April, down from 5.5 percent in the final quarter of 2017, according to preliminary official data released on Tuesday.
Analysts attributed the GDP growth to increasing domestic demand, with household expenditure and investments by companies continuing to rise substantially.
Two pedestrians killed by tram in central Prague
Two pedestrians were killed after being struck by a tram in central Prague on Tuesday morning. The incident occurred at around 10 am by I.P. Pavlova, a busy transport hub. The dead were both men believed to have been aged around 60. Emergency services spent around 45 minutes attempting to resuscitate the pair but to no avail. Witnesses said they had tried to cross the street despite a red signal for pedestrians.
Buses were deployed to ferry passengers after tram services were interrupted between I.P. Pavlova and the nearby Karlovo náměstí.
Prague square to be named after movie director Miloš Forman
Prague councillors have voted to name a plaza in the city after the late film director Miloš Forman, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. Miloš Forman Square will be located by the Hotel International at the end of the upmarket Pařížská St. in the downtown area.
Forman made some of the most highly rated films of the Czechoslovak New Wave and later won two Oscars after moving to the United States. He died in mid-April at the age of 86.
Navalis water celebrations expected to attract thousands
The annual Navalis water celebrations held in commemoration of St Jan of Nepomuk will take place on the Vltava in the vicinity of Charles Bridge on Tuesday evening.
The Baroque-era celebrations, which were renewed in 2009, includes a boat regatta with richly decorated gondolas from Venice, parachutists who land on the Vltava River and a concert on a barge.
The celebrations start with a mass at St. Vitus Cathedral and end with a fireworks display. The popular event annually attracts thousands of visitors from at home and abroad.
Czechs to face US for place in semi-finals at ice hockey worlds
The Czech Republic will face the United States in the quarter-finals of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Denmark. The Czechs learned the identity of their opponents in the first knock-out round on Tuesday after Finland beat the US and secured first place in the tournament’s Group B.
Coach Josef Jandač’s team will take on the Americans in Copenhagen on Thursday for a place in the last four.
Wednesday should see bright spells with some rain in the Czech Republic. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 17 degrees Celsius. After more rain on Thursday, it is likely to be dry Friday through Sunday, forecasters say.